Monthly Archives: October 2015

Where’s My Flying Car?

10-21-15, back to futureSo, by now, most people are aware that last week, Oct 21, 2015, was the date set in “Back to the Future 2” that Marty and Doc go to in the future. And many die-hard fans of the movie had parties or dressed up in “futuristic” costumes. But now, as the date has passed and the fervor is gone, I think there is a great lesson we can learn about making predictions.

You see, the movie projected several ideas of what life would look like in 2015, some right and some wrong. We have 3-D movies and videoconference calling now, but we have no hover boards, no shoes that tie their own laces, and no flying cars. Where are the flying cars???

The predictions, I suppose, weren’t that bad for 1989. In 1989, the idea of a video call on the TV was cool. But writers didn’t envision a world in which everyone had screens on phones doing Facetime. Other predictions, such as hover boards and flying cars just aren’t here yet, if they ever will be.

Making predictions can be fun. It is a novelty to guess what the future will be like. But we never get it exactly right. We can’t know, with certainty what the future will be. Or can we?

That is why the Bible is such an amazing book. God’s Word is always 100% accurate. Every prophecy is true; no Bible prediction has ever been proven false. Every single time God’s prophets spoke, whether about something in a week or in 1,000 years, their words have been accurate.

Romans 9:6 reminds us that God’s Word has never failed His children. Numbers 23:19 explains that God does not make human-like mistakes or change His mind. 2 Peter 1:20 declares that prophecy is not of human interpretation, but rather is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Because of the perfect track record of the Bible, we can trust it when it tells us that God desires to give us an eternal home in heaven. And that’s the future…for those who live according to His Word.

Playboy Says Nudity Is Passé

no_nudityObviously, this week’s article is not for everyone. So that no one might stumble, I would encourage the spiritually immature and those who are not old enough to be reading adult topics to stop reading at this point. I would never want to cause anyone to stumble into the life-damaging world of pornography. But I do believe that this relevant topic makes for a pertinent discussion on the way our society views sin. While God made our bodies, and there is nothing wrong or inappropriate about sharing them with our spouses in the proper context, the world we live in has made a mockery of the design for the human body. Exposing flesh has become a sin of epic proportions. Perhaps, if you read this article, you will reconsider why the arguments for modesty matter so much, and why every little battle has cost far more than we imagined.

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In 1953, Hugh Heffner published the 1st Playboy Magazine. It featured Marilyn Monroe. The magazine shocked society. Pictures were banned. Lawsuits erupted. But the world was never the same again, and Playboy’s subscriptions shot through the roof.

But in recent years, Playboy’s sales have decreased from 5.6 million to 800,000. And in a move that has put Playboy in the news again, Hugh Hefner has decided to try something even more shocking…removing nudity from Playboy!

Now, I’m not in favor of anyone reading Playboy. And it would be a mistake to applaud Playboy for this move. They will still be promoting filth. But what I find fascinating is the reasoning behind their decision.

You see, at one time, Playboy was shocking. And people were afraid and ashamed to get caught reading it. But that’s because it wasn’t acceptable in society to expose such things for all to see.

Fast-forward to today. It would be a gross understatement to say that the American culture has changed. Playboy was actually “overtaken by the changes it pioneered” (NY TIMES, Samiya). In justifying their new position, Playboy executive, Scott Flanders, said the following:

“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”

Passé? Yes, he said “passé.” Nudity, pornography, and viewing of “every sex act imaginable” are commonplace. And in this culture, what is the only shocking thing Playboy can do? PUT CLOTHES ON THEIR MODELS! Playboy executives noticed that the world was so sinful that their brand of sin was no longer relevant.

Please don’t miss the irony of that! Because, make no mistake…if you missed the insanity there, you may just be too immersed in this modern culture. In order to differentiate themselves, the original nudity magazine will clothe its models. What does that say about the world we live in???

In the prophet Jeremiah’s day, he spoke of a culture that was “not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12). In fact, God’s threat would seem more like promotional material in the sin-sick world of today. In Jeremiah 13:26, it was a horrible thought to lift “skirts off over your face, that your shame may be seen.” God proclaimed, “As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of your prostitution on the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations.”

I suppose there is nothing new under the sun. But perhaps, just perhaps, this might be a wake-up call to some people of just how bad things have gotten and how far we have come from God’s purpose for our bodies.

Perhaps we have hit a wall though. Perhaps it is almost a time like it was when God declared, “’they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 6:15). Will you be among those who are cast down? Or will you be among those who took a stand against the culture and the world in which we find ourselves today.

Buying Google

buying googleAbout a month ago, Sanmay Ved, a student at Babson College in Massachusetts, was looking at domain names he could purchase for a new website. He went online, saw that one was available, purchased the domain, and paid his $12. To his surprise, he got a confirmation on his card that he was the proud new owner…of google.com!

Now, Sanmay is apparently a good guy. He wasn’t doing this for cyber-terrorism or for financial gain. He just saw that the domain was available and decided to try to buy it. He alerted Google and Google offered a reward for alerting them to the problem.

But for a few minutes, Sanmay was the owner of the most powerful website in the world. And I have seen several “helpful suggestions” about what Sanmay should have done with that temptation. Sadly, most are full of what you would expect from the world we live in today.

Some suggested he should have posted lewd pictures; some suggested that he post embarrassing information about people; and some said he should have used it to make money. But Sanmay did none of those things. He alerted Google, they offered a reward, and he turned them down! Instead, he suggested a charity, and to Google’s credit, they doubled the reward and sent it on to the charity.

Now, I can’t help but wonder…if it had been you or me…what would we have done? The question helps us discover something about where our minds are today, doesn’t it? What would you have done with such incredible power in that moment?

Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness by offering Him all the power, fame, and money this world has to offer. But Jesus refused. He had the ability, in an instant, to do whatever He wanted…and what He wanted was to glorify God (MT 4:1-11).

Power, fame, and fortune are tempting. But they are an illusion; they are only fleeting. Jesus focused on the eternal, and He calls His disciples to do the same. And He promises that those who do likewise will inherit an eternal Kingdom (MT 6:20).

Missing and Missed

missing metMatt Harvey drives to work just like millions of Americans. This week, Matt Harvey left later than he should have. And like millions of people in NYC, Matt got stuck in traffic.

None of this would be news for most of us. Who hasn’t left a little late and gotten stuck in traffic? But Matt Harvey is the starting pitcher for the NY Mets, and the “work” he missed was a playoff practice!

When professional athletes don’t show up for a practice, the coaches, the players, and the media want to know why. And the news hits the headlines. Why? Professional athletes live very public lives.

Most of us don’t live under that scrutiny. If we are running late, we call and say we are running late. If we get stuck in traffic, we get stuck in traffic. But the press doesn’t put our tardiness in the paper. Yet, we are still expected to be where we say we will be.

I guess the obvious example would be your place of employment…the J.O.B. If you don’t show up for work, people would wonder why. And you would want them to notice. In fact, if no one noticed your absence at work, it probably means a pink slip is in your future.

What about church attendance? We are called to “not forsake” the assembly (Hebrews 10:25). In other words, don’t make missing the assembly your regular practice. But even more than missing worship, my question is…were you missed?

Is your absence noticed or expected? How would you react if an elder, minister, or member called to check on you? Insulted or appreciative? Every part of the Lord’s body, the church, is an important member of the team…and your presence is beneficial to all. Do you worship where others notice your presence?

But even more than church attendance, what about heaven? Will you be missing? If you haven’t lived in Him, you will be missed on that day. But, sadly, there won’t be any phone calls from people asking where you are.

Give it some thought…then decide to live in Him every day!